Sunday, August 09, 2009

...

(Expanded August 10, 2009.)

Very sad news...

My friend Brian Cook, a devoted husband and all-round brilliant fellow, an indefatigable collector geek possessed of a devious and genuinely subversive aesthetic, a superb bassist with an unerring ear who graced the lineups many outsider ensembles (including Pineal Ventana, Accustat, A AAL Aachen Nevada Jim, and Black Love), and most humbling of all, an avid supporter of TLASILA, died earlier today in Athens, Georgia.

His wife and childhood sweetheart, Melinda Henon, is devastated, and my heart goes out to her. She and Brian were fused for as long as anyone could remember. They were soulmates, and I make no apologies for the use of the term. There was nothing saccharine or soporific about their wild, three-decade-long ride...

I am stunned and deeply saddened by his death, by this sudden and all too cruel departure. It's a goddamned shame...

In shock, I took my bicycle and drove through the deserted Sunday morning streets of Hannover. Apart from the odd clump of stumbling drunks and unfortunate 6:25 commuters, I had the city to myself. I took Brian's spectre on a tour of one of the office complexes where I teach, stopping to admire a favorite crumbling wall here, an anomalous suburban garden structure there. I've scarcely felt more numb, but somehow the ride managed to induce a temporary sense of calm. I phoned Mel later in the afternoon, and wept silently with her.

She is one very strong woman. Brian adored her, utterly...

He was tortured, yes, but even in his flailings he was courtly, compassionate, infused with a compulsive, tangled joy... He was a splendid human being.



(Melinda and Brian, from B's MySpace profile...)

I love you, Mel. Stay strong...

Requiescat in pace, B...

TS

5 comments:

naugle said...

Miss you Brian. Thinking of you Melinda.

Tony said...

Found out about Brian's death yesterday. Knew he had been having problems of late and was excited to go into Vision Video (where he worked, 2 doors down from my office) and tell him about the upcoming Faust show at the 40 Watt in October.

Brian, you were, and always be, one of the greats. I was truly honored to have known you, played with you, and been your friend.

Much love...

Tell Sun Ra I said hello.

I'm sure the sessions have already started.

-Tony

Michael said...

This is a really nice tribute to a truly great guy.

I had the privilege of working with him a couple of months at Vision, and we instantly bonded over our shared love of heavy music and all things cinema.

He always knew how to make me laugh, and he'd take the time to listen to my problems, all of which seem inane and inconsequential now.

I'll miss watching him suck down a Camel Wide in about 4 drags, and the mp3 cd's he'd burn for me, taking the extra time to create elaborate labels for them (which would cause them to get stuck in my car's player, ha).

You were loved Brian, and you'll be missed.

-Michael

ommyth said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks much for posting.

It's still such a dreadful shock. I'll miss Brian very much...

Best Wishes,

Tom

Tony said...

Just wanted everyone to know...

The service was nice....

For all the "out-of-towners", there are a bunch of us here in Athens that are taking care of Melinda...

The best part of the service was making her laugh afterwards.

Michael, thank you for your words.

Tony